Leftovers have never gone to waste in my house. We eat leftovers. We love leftovers. The kids actually claim first dibs on leftovers before we are even done with the meal. I had to laugh the other day when Trinity told T-Bone, “Hey, don’t eat the rest of the chicken! I want to take it to school for lunch tomorrow.”
I’m fortunate to have two kids who have never been picky eaters and have a love of all foods to rival my own. Italian, Mexican, American fair; spicy (hot!), sweet, tangy; seafood, chicken, veggies – you name it, they love it. Even their favorite TV shows revolve around food: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Man v. Food, Rachael Ray, etc. We are definitely a “foodie” family. And because I love to cook and try new recipes they are never bored with the same meals week in and week out.
Of course, we all have our favorite meals and this week they were treated to one I haven’t been able to make in almost two years: marinated grilled chicken with awesome sides! My old grill finally gave up the ghost and because I lost two jobs in the span of five months buying a new grill wasn’t as high on my priority list as paying the electric bill. It has been sorely missed and my range of meal selections were limited due to the fact that I use my grill all year round. That’s saying a lot when you live in Indiana! However, since things have been looking up in my finances for a while I deemed it time to bite the bullet and invest in a grill while Spring makes up it’s mind to stick around or not.
I did some research and price comparison shopping online for four-burner gas grills. With the amount of food I cook on the grill for our meals anything less is just too cramped. I also asked my friends what they use and read the reviews of those products. Finally settling on how much to spend based on the recommendations I received, and locating a model that was available for in-store pickup that same day, I went to the store to shop!
After looking around and failing to find the model I wanted I searched for someone to help me – an adventure in itself! After 15 minutes and walking to the craft section of the store I found an employee who was able to locate another employee to help me out in the Lawn and Garden department (a whole new meaning to Where’s Waldo). The first model I chose was out of stock – and discontinued! Bummer. However, the salesman had the second model I was willing to purchase – and bonus! – it was already pre-constructed. Unfortunately, my little Vibe wasn’t going to hold a pre-built gas grill. Finally locating one still in the box I made my purchase and he helped me load my grill.
Arriving home I tackled the first challenge: getting it out of my car. Being a single mom (and kid-less last week) I was on my own for this project. Well, since going down is easy (that’s what she said) I slid the box out of the back of my car and scooted it into the house and my living room. Holy crap this grill is heavy!
Next step: tearing everything out of the box. Piece by piece I removed the contents of the box, tore out the styrofoam packets, untaped all the moving parts and found the instructions on how to build my new gas grill. It even came with it’s own (cheap) set of tools to use to put it together. Pretty nifty for anyone who might not think of those little details when buying something you have to build yourself. But having done a lot of my own building of almost everything in my house already I come pretty well equipped in that area. (I love my ratcheting screwdriver set!)
I hunkered down and got to work building my new gas grill.
Looking through the instructions there were only 17 steps – each with about 4-6 sub-steps. In about an hour I had it all up and ready.
Not bad for a chic, huh?
I moved the grill outside, put the chicken in my special marinade (a bottle of Worcestershire sauce – that’s all) to soak for the night and headed to bed. The next day I picked up the kids and waited for their usual “What’s for dinner tonight?” question. Yep, immediately they asked, and when I said, “Grilled chicken, garlic mashed red potatoes, and fried green beans and bacon” I was rewarded with shouts of “Awesome!!”
Dinner was a huge hit!
P.S. After a bitterly cold 30 degree day just following an awesome 80 degree day (gotta love Indiana weather) I was really looking forward to those leftovers tonight. I got home and searched the fridge for the leftover container. Opening it I found four green beans, two little bits of bacon and a spoonful of mashed potatoes. What?!? I called T-Bone.
Me: Did you eat the rest of the left overs today?
T-Bone: Yeah, I had them for breakfast this morning before school.
Me: For breakfast? After you made me stop at the grocery store on the way home last night to get you more cereal because you were out and didn’t have any cereal for breakfast for today?
T-Bone: Well, I saw the leftovers and I didn’t want them to go to waste because they are so good!
Me: You’re grounded.
T-Bone: Mom! For eating the leftovers?
Me: No. For eating MY leftovers.
T-Bone: Oh, sorry. You can have my cereal if you want.